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White Paper Urges Strategic Targeting of Financing
July 1, 2008

A white paper issued by an American Academy of Arts and Sciences panel urges the strategic targeting of research dollars to support early-career scientists. University of Maryland (UMD) president C.D. Mote, Jr., is a member of the panel that wrote, “ARISE – Advancing Research in Science and Engineering: Investing in Early-Career Scientists and High-Risk, High-Reward Research”.

“If America is to maintain its scientific and technological edge, it needs to inspire and support its most talented scientists and engineers through the early stages of their careers,” says Mr. Mote, a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences who is actively involved in national efforts to maintain U.S. science and technological competitiveness. “When we recruit a most promising scholar, it takes about a decade to determine if a super star will arise. The scholar’s transition from the career startup phase through to true distinction in the field is most critical and difficult to support. ARISE addresses the challenge.”

The report argues that while overall levels of research funding are important, money alone does not guarantee the nation’s ability to compete in the new global environment.

It focuses on the modes and mechanisms of funding, and in particular two issues central to the nation’s research efforts that it says have not received sufficient attention:

Support for early-career faculty; and Encouragement of high-risk, high-reward, potentially transformative research.

The report offers a series of recommendations for the federal government, private foundations and universities in support of these goals.

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